Gori Jain Tirth

Islamkot, Pakistan

 

 

The remnants of Jain sites are visible only in Sindh's Nagar Parkar Taluka of Thar where ruins of half a dozen major temples depict the past glory of Jain architecture. Among them Gori temple near Islamkot (Slamkot) is the magnificent structure. Though a shambles, due to the old age, damaged by fire during military campaign by Colonel Tyrwitt and, also jolted by the earthquake of January 26, 2001, the architectural structures of Gori temple portray the grandeur of affluent Jain community and their places of worship.

No check has ever been witnessed at most of the archaeological sites in Sindh to restrict the theft of bricks, artifacts and other objects of history. Except for Gori temple, no other heritage site of Thar (having at least 14 sites) is looked after by any watchman of the federal department of Archaeology. A team of journalists found a decomposed body of a dog lying inside an ancient Jain temple in Nagarparkar town of Thar desert.

2. A Story and Report by Aziz Sanghur Friday June 13,2003
The practice of Jain religion has become a part of history in Pakistan as all the followers of Jainism had been migrated to India. According to visit of this scribe at Tharparkar district, about half of dozen Jain temples are in poor conditions. The remnants of Jain sites are visible only in Nagarparkar taluka where ruins of temples depict the past glory of Jain architecture. Among them Gori temple near Islamkot is the magnificent structure. Though a shambles, due to the old age, damaged by fire during military campaign by Colonel Tyrwitt and, also jolted by the earthquake of January 26, 2001, the architectural structures of Gori temple portray the grandeur of affluent Jain community and their places of worship.

The Jains' love for nature is exemplary. They can not imagine killing an insect even involuntarily. They keep their mounts covered with a piece of cloth so that any insect may not enter into their mouths and die. The same philosophy keeps them barefooted. Out of the five most famous Jain Temples in our part of the world, there are in Bodhesar and one each in Gori and Virawah.

Gori, some 23 Kms north -west from Virawah, contains a very fine old lain temple measuring 38 meters by 15 and built of marble. It was for several times plundered due to its popularity for abundances in wealth. It is a symbol of unique ancient construction.

Virawah is situated in north about 24 kilometers from the town of Nagarparkar. Which is interesting only on account of the number of Jain ruins contained in the remaining of the old town of Pari Nagar adjacent. There are different traditions about Pari Nagar which is said to have been founded in the fifth or sixth century and to have been destroyed in the twelfth. It was a very populous and flourishing town. It is now a brick heap and only one small Jain temple remains standing.

About six kilometer north-west from Nagar Parkar there are the remains of three ancient Jain Structures supposed to have been built in A.D., 1375 and 1449. Two of them were previously used as stalls for cattle and the third, the interior of which was very beautiful and interesting, had large holes in the back wall and was in a very neglected state.

On the main track to Nagar Parkar, about 45 Kilometres (28 miles) from Islamkot, is the Jain Temple of Gori, said to date from 1376. The pillared porch with its carved ceiling leads into a multi-domed chamber, divided into little cubicles; crumbling stone statues decorate the walls. The Jains are followers Mahavira, a contemporary of the Buddha, and though no Jains live in Pakistan today and the temple is abandoned there is still a festival here on 20-25 March honour of the Jain god Parasnath.

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Address  : Sindh Pradesh, Nagarparkar, Tharparkar, Islamkot, Pakistan

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Mail to : Ahimsa Foundation
www.jainsamaj.org
R140519